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Our actions demonstrate a strong commitment to the environmental management and sustainability of the North Saskatchewan River, including the following highlights from 2018.

  • The Edmonton Water system completed transition of the registration of the Environmental Management System (EMS) to the new international standard, ISO14001:2015. EPCOR has maintained a fully registered EMS since 2017.
  • In 2018, EPCOR completed work on the “EPCOR Water Canada Climate Change Adaptation discussion paper” and is currently developing a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for the Edmonton water system.  As part of this, EPCOR is supporting a number of research studies to better understand the potential impact of climate change on the North Saskatchewan River as a water supply.
  • EPCOR continued collaboration with AEP, the North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance and the City of Edmonton to develop a comprehensive water quality monitoring program for the North Saskatchewan River. The WaterSHED (Saskatchewan Headwaters Edmonton Downstream) Monitoring Program involves building and operating a network of 22 flow and water quality monitoring stations at strategic locations throughout the watershed, from the headwaters to the Saskatchewan border. Operation of the stations and collection of samples began in early 2019 and continued through the spring runoff period.
  • EPCOR continued the “Troubled Water” series of discussions and exercises with AEP, Alberta Health Services (AHS), Alberta Emergency Management Association (AEMA) and the Regional Customer Water Group. This initiative has resulted in production of two key documents: Drinking Water Supply Emergencies in the Greater Edmonton Region, Human Life/Public Health and EPCOR Emergency Drinking Water Supply Plan.
  • A long-term plan was completed for the Water Treatment Plants that will address anticipated growth in demand, changes in source water quality, evolving regulatory requirements and climate change driven fluctuations well into the future.
  • EPCOR continued to reach out to residents in homes and businesses with lead service lines to provide information on lead, offer testing for lead at the tap and give them point-of-use filters that remove lead. Monitoring for lead at the tap in all homes across the city also continues through our Random Daytime monitoring program. EPCOR removes lead service lines as part of our Lead Management program. Currently our proposed Lead Mitigation Strategy, which will reduce the risk of lead at the tap from both lead service lines and building plumbing, is with the City of Edmonton for approval.

  • EPCOR's energy efficiency initiatives have been successful over the past several years. The system energy index normalized for population size has been trending downward. Based on the normalized system energy index, we were able to exceed our internal target of < 309 kWh/ML/million population and achieve 257 kWh/ML/million population.
  • EPCOR continued to investigate the environmental impact of the solids that are discharged to the river in 2018 and to build on the work we completed in previous years (2013-2017). The focus in 2018 was on assessment of acute and chronic toxicity of the discharges, more instream monitoring of aluminum, and assessing downstream benthic invertebrate communities. Together, with similar results from previous years, this information shows that the residuals discharge streams are not acutely toxic to fish.
  • EPCOR continued to operate our water treatment plants in Direct Filtration (DF) mode during the winter and fall seasons, when river water conditions allow it, in order to reduce the amount of chemical (alum) used to treat the water and the amount of solids residuals discharged back to the river during periods of relatively low river flow. In 2018, solids reduction during the direct filtration season was limited to 17 per cent because challenging raw water conditions again prevented direct filtration in November and December. This was offset by an increase in solids reduction to 42 per cent in extended DF due to a later spring runoff that enabled direct filtration into April. Overall, reductions in solids discharged were about the same as 2017.
  • EPCOR continued to investigate the environmental impact of the solids that are discharged to the river in 2018 and to build on the work we completed in previous years (2013-2017). The focus in 2018 was on assessment of acute and chronic toxicity of the discharges, more instream monitoring of aluminum, and assessing downstream benthic invertebrate communities. Together, with similar results from previous years, this information shows that the residuals discharge streams are not acutely toxic to fish.

Read the full 2018 EnviroVista Report   Download the pdf